Guided tour to Olivia Rose part 2 and Belgian flower power

Hello and welcome to The Olivia Rose Diaries on May 5th 2023.

As you can see from the picture below we are finally on the move! This shot was taken on our first night, moored up outside a marina at a little town called Péronnes on the Nimy-Blaton canal in southern Belgium.

And without further ado I shall carry on with the second part of the guided tour to our lovely boat.

Apologies for background noise – it was windy.

We have never cruised in Belgium, and don’t know the country at all well, our experience limited to a few short visits. It is famed for chocolates, beer and, strangely enough, chips – all of which we intend to put to the test during our time here. It’s a small country, 145 kilometres wide by 280 kilometres long, and can easily be driven through in a couple of hours. Many people do just that. They might stop at Bruges, one of the best known tourist hotspots, but then they keep driving, looking for a country with a higher profile and more to offer. For some reason Belgium appears to be one of those places that falls below the tourist radar, and it will be interesting to see if our experience supports or contradicts that perception.

Here are two pictures to give you a flavour of the canal and the locks that we have passed through.

The 12 metre lock at Peronnes
The Canal Nimy-Blaton

By pure chance our visit to this part of the country coincided with the annual flower arranging competition that takes place at the Chateau de Beloeil, described as the Belgian version of Versailles, and only 28 kilometres round trip from our second mooring spot. I am always drawn to anything to do with flowers and this trip would also give us a chance to properly test out our newly acquired folding bikes.

The castle from a distance.

Only one species of flower is allowed in this competition, the Amaryllis, and we were expecting to see around 6,000 of them, sculpted into bouquets and arrangements throughout the various state rooms, bedrooms, libraries and staircases of this grand castle.

Close up of an Amaryllis
This was my favourite
An Amaryllis chandelier
Apologies for photo being difficult to see but this bike has been given a floral makeover

They were very striking but my favourite arrangement was far less exotic, a simple carpet of daisies left to grow wild in the grass outside the castle.

And that is it for now. Hope all is well in your world and see you next week.


PS Michael wanted to give this blog a different title. He thought that  ‘Show me the way to Amaryllis ‘ had a catchy ring to it. For those of you who don’t immediately recognise the link these were the lyrics to a well known song by Tony Christie, although he was talking about Amarillo. Luckily for you, I vetoed the title! And not for the first time….

13 thoughts on “Guided tour to Olivia Rose part 2 and Belgian flower power

  1. Hello! Your photos are beautiful. It would be so nice if you put pictures in your books in addition to the illustrations. I’m halfway through your new book. It is very good. You visited so many places. Gabriela.


  2. Glad to see the good weather you are having. Loved the Hippeastrum festival. There must have been thousands of them cut for the show… my favorite was the chandelier.
    Looking forward to seeing and learning more about Belgium. Enjoy the beer and chocolate!


  3. Thanks for the guided tour. I’m glad to see that you’re on the move again. I’m not a great fan of amaryllis, but some of the arrangements were very clever. My favourite is the same as yours! Good luck with the rest of your travels.


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